On Saturday (as in SATURDAY, which was MANY DAYS AGO, because I am very timely), Hubs and I put the boy to work.
And by work, I mean that Cinderella’s life was starting to look rather attractive to that boy of ours, because she didn’t have a list as long as he did, handwritten by her mother, which started with GET THE DIRTY CLOTHES OFF OF YOUR BATHROOM FLOOR and ended with HELP DAD TAKE THE TRAMPOLINE DOWN. (But being a GIRL CHILD, I doubt that Cinderella ever felt the need to leave three days’ worth of clothes in a heap on her bathroom floor.) The middle of the boy’s list was cram-packed with other chores, which involved scrubbing the globby-chunks of toothpaste off of his bathroom sink and getting some vacuuming done. The poor kid even had to mow the yard.
And lest you think that Hubs and I sat on the deck with margaritas while our love child worked, let me set you straight: We all worked around the house on Saturday, because on Saturday we were a titch concerned that the city of Small Town might actually CONDEMN our home for Poor Standard of Living Qualities.
(Part of our PSLQ on Saturday was in the kitchen, where SOMEONE had spilled some juice earlier in the week and then proceeded to sop up the liquid with a paper towel, but no mopping had ever been brought into the equation, so the end result was an acre of very sticky floor. And we had this issue for DAYS, people. Days. And instead of anyone in our house being mature enough to volunteer to mop up the stick, we simply knew to STEP AROUND IT. Even in the dead of night, when all was dark, we would all three still navigate the kitchen by side-stepping the area of floor by the kitchen island.)
So the answer is YES. We ALL worked around here this weekend.
At some point in the afternoon, while sweat was on his brow and his general look spelled out WORK-RELATED EXHAUSTION, the boy moaned, “I wish I had something fun to look forward to for tonight, after all these chores are done.” And then that sigh turned into a question, which was phrased as, “Hey, Mom? Do you think… Once my work is finished… That maybe… You know… Some friends could come over?”
And that is how the very spontaneous idea for a pizza-slash-video-games party popped into the boy’s brain. And between Cloroxing and mowing and mopping up the sticky slop around here, the idea was brought in front of the Jedi Council, who mulled it over. And then the Council waved the green light saber, which is a clear indication that all systems were a GO.
Some phone calls were made, some pizzas were ordered, and Hubs and I braced ourselves for a night of RACKET and NOISE and COMPUTERIZED BEEPING MUSIC, and then we wondered out loud, “Why did the Jedi Council nod its approval at this party permit today, of all the days, since we have just CLEANED?”
At 6:00 on Saturday night, my deck looked like this:
It should also be noted that our checking account is officially broken and full of an echo, because that table represents twenty-four slices of pizza. Enzo, apparently, wasn’t man enough to eat five full slices, because he groaned in pain and called it quits after four pieces of pepperoni pizza. That is what Hubs and I refer to as RESPONSIBLE EATING. Everyone else manned up and quickly devoured five pieces each, like a tribe of piglets might do.
Hubs said, “Next year, when they hit junior high school, they’ll all be eating their OWN medium-sized pizza.” And then I told Hubs, “Don’t even mention junior high to me, unless you want to bring on the ugly cry.” (I have no intentions of handling the onset of my baby going to junior high school with dignity or dry mascara.)
By 7:00 Saturday night, Hubs and I were pleasantly surprised to realize that the noise level wasn’t as bad as we had expected it to be. We began calling it a Dull Roar, Interspersed With Mario Music That Was Way Too Loud.
At 7:00, this is what we had in the family room downstairs, because we’d managed to pick up a couple of cute strays who wandered in AFTER the pizza was eaten on the deck, but who happily accepted the leftover slices.
Those seven boys rocked the house with their impromptu party, and they were all perfectly behaved. They were adorable; they were lovable. They all used their very best church-style manners at least 97% of the time in which they were at the Jedi Manor.
And at some point AFTER 7:00 on Saturday night, Hubs and I, who were alone in the kitchen, realized one new thing.
Remember how you’d go to little get-togethers at kids’ houses when you were younger? And remember how your mom always hollered out, “Will the parents be home?” (Because yes! Having the parents home with seven boys in your house is a KEY ELEMENT TO A YOUNG BOY’S SURVIVAL.) And remember how you’d ROLL YOUR EYEBALLS HEAVENWARD whenever your mom sought out information in regards to the parents who would be ON THE PREMISES? And remember how you’d partially cover the receiver on your rotary dial phone and hiss in a grouchy voice, “My MOTHER wants to know if your parents will be home during the party?” And remember how your best friend would sigh and whisper back, “They wouldn’t dream of leaving.” On Saturday, Hubs and I realized that WE are the parents who will now be home. WE were the parents in charge of things on Saturday evening. WE were the parents on duty, who would make sure that the Malibu rum wasn’t being mixed with the cups of soda on the deck. WE were the parents who would make sure that everyone had enough pizza to eat, and that no one left hungry. WE were the parents who would would model a good family life to onlookers in our home. WE were the parents who would show that Jesus lives here with us. WE were the parents who would bop up and down the stairs, under the disguise of JUST DOING SOME EXTRA LAUNDRY HERE to make sure that what was being played on the big screen TV was appropriate. WE were the parents who would call out, “Let’s watch the smack talk, okay?” WE were the parents who would make sure everyone got home safely for the evening.
And that, people, made Hubs and I realize that parenting is a rather large responsibility, and that we are OBVIOUSLY VERY OLD PEOPLE NOW.
Clearly, we should be mature enough to mop a week-old juice mess up off of the floor if we’re going to be grown-up enough to be the parents who are home for the parties.